If we deduce our kitchen with only the essentials, there’s no doubt that the can opener will stay. Let’s just say that if you’re already hungry, the last thing you’d want is scarily poke a can with a knife. However, it’s only a matter of time when our good old manual can opener gets upgraded to an electric version. Nowadays, people want everything easy and fast, and that’s where electric can openers have surpassed the manual versions.
Sure, electric can openers cost more, but with the added cost comes safety and ease of use. If you’re someone who has limited hand strength or dexterity, you might always be looking for “easy-open” cans. However, you’d also become limited with food options. But don’t fuss, choose anything you want and let your electric can opener do the work for you. With just a push of a button, these devices will open cans without leaving any sneaky jagged edges behind. This makes it even possible to trust your kid with helping you in the kitchen!
Like with any other kitchen utensil, there are going to be some factors to consider when choosing an electric can opener. But don’t worry, we have already written you a guide about everything you need to know about these nifty gadgets. We even used these factors as our basis when making this list.
The best electric can opener is something that precisely fits your needs. Are you someone with arthritis? Do you want to give your grandma a safer alternative for her kitchen? How many cans do you need to open per day? Or would you require an all-in-one device with knife sharpener and other features? We have reviewed 10 models each with an advantage over the others. so your choice isn’t limited. You can also take a look at our comparison table if you want to see a quick contrast among the devices.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at which can opener will make the cut.
Best Electric Can Opener Comparison Table
|Edlund 266||Countertop||Pull the lever||No||Check Price|
|Black & Decker CO100B||Under-the-Cabinet||Pull the lever||No||Check Price|
|Black & Decker EC600||Under-the-Cabinet||Flick the switch||No||Check Price|
|Hamilton Beach 76608||Countertop||Press down the lever||No||Check Price|
|Proctor Silex Plus 76370P||Countertop||Pull the lever||No||Check Price|
|Cuisinart SCO-60 Deluxe||Countertop||Press down the lever||No||Check Price|
|Hamilton Beach 76606ZA||Countertop||Press down the lever||No||Check Price|
|Proctor Silex 75217F ||Countertop||Pull the lever||No||Check Price|
|Kitchen Mama Yes You Can||Handheld||Touch the button||Yes, 4 AA||Check Price|
|W-Dragon||Handheld||Touch the button||Yes||Check Price|
Best Electric Can Opener Reviews
Edlund 266 – Best Commercial Electric Can Opener
If you are running a business where you open a large volume of cans daily, you will need something that is heavy-duty. The model should remain performing effectively throughout the day. But at the same time, it should also be quick and virtually effortless to use. Our first unit is the 266 single-speed electric can opener from Edlund. It fits our description for the best commercial electric can opener because of the following:
The price of this model is indeed higher compared to the other units in this review. However, this unit is an excellent investment, especially for a busy kitchen. There’s no doubt about its durability because of its stainless steel built. It may cost high, but it will last you for a long time, which is way better than buying a cheaper yet flimsy alternative.
Another nice thing about the Edlund 266 is that you can eventually replace its blade and gear when they wore out. It is inevitable, especially for an opener subjected to continuous heavy work, to give out. However, you don’t need to dispose of the perfectly working motor when its blade and gear becomes ineffective. And because you’re only buying the blade and gear repair kit, you’re also saving money. Other than the replacement kit, Edlund also offers a knife holder that you can purchase separately.
Stable and Compact
The Edlund 266 comes with a NEMA 5-15P plug. Yes, it isn’t going to offer you the same location freedom as those that use batteries, but it is freestanding. Because you’re not installing it into place, you can still move it anywhere in your kitchen as long as you have access to an outlet.
The model also doesn’t take a huge footprint because it is relatively compact. It measures 5 inches in width, 12 inches in height, and 7 inches in depth. And because it weighs under 14 pounds, you can easily move it around yourself. We also notice that it has rubber feet, so stability is not going to be an issue. Because of this extra grip, you don’t have to fear that it’ll slide out of place during usage.
One-Hand Lever Operation
Speaking of usage, you’ll be glad that you won’t be sacrificing productivity in something as simple as opening cans. That’s the way it should be anyway, right? Edlund boasts that their can opener will open 4 to 7 cans in a minute, and about 75 cans in a day. In a commercial kitchen, everything needs to be fast and volume is important, so these numbers are very appealing. However, for the day to be productive, the work doesn’t just need to be fast; it should also be effective.
Lastly, it is worth noting that the 266 meets both the standards set by the Conformance European (CE) and the Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Passing these tests guarantees that this unit is safe.
- Stainless steel built
- Replaceable gear and blade
- Has gripping rubber feet
- Can open different sizes and conditions of cans
- Can open 4-7 cans per minute
- One-hand lever operation
- Meets CE and UL standards
Black & Decker Spacemaker CO100B – Best Electric Can Opener with Knife Sharpener
As we have mentioned in our introduction, electric can openers, nowadays, do more than just opening cans. Manufacturers have also decided to add other useful features to make this device more versatile in the kitchen. A good example of a common additional feature that you can find in certain models is a knife sharpener. And with the unit we have here, it can also cut bags and open bottles for you.
The Black & Decker Spacemaker Multi-Purpose Can Opener is an under-the-cabinet model that lives up to its name; multi-purpose. But before we delve deeper into its features, let us review how it installs. On paper, having a 4-in-1 device attached underneath your cabinet not only gives you easy access, but it’s also space-saving. However, there is a significant drawback with this particular unit.
Black & Decker includes several standard screw lengths along with this model. The unit even comes with stackable spacers in different sizes so that you can use the Spacemaker on cabinets with recessed bottoms. However, they may not still help in getting the unit to fit on certain cabinet sizes.
The template is accurate for drilling the four necessary holes for installation, however mounting the unit is where it gets tricky. Yes, the Spacemaker includes stackable spacers, but we found no online instructions on how to use them. You must also get the opener mounted at the front of the cabinet.
This is necessary so that the lever will stick out past unit’s front frame. This way, you can lift the lever up and remove the cutting part for cleaning. What happens if we mount it farther back? You’ll give yourself a headache in opening cans, or cleaning the parts. And we should also mention that more than this positioning, you must use the spacers.
Another useful feature with a con is the unit’s swing-open door. This door hides the bag opener and can opener inside, giving the model a sleek, modern look. However, because this door falls downward during usage, this is also another space clearance consideration. For us, the unit can survive without this feature.
Now that the drawbacks are out of the way, let us talk about our favorites in this model. Because this model is an under-the-cabinet unit, it requires an outlet to function. But don’t worry because you wouldn’t get cluttered with its cord because it is located at the back of the unit.
Can Opener, Bag Cutter, Knife Sharpener, and Bottle Opener in One
Getting all these features does eliminates clutter on your countertop. And because they are located in one place, accessing any of them is more convenient. So how does the Spacemaker performs?
At the right side of the model are its bag opener and knife sharpener. The knife sharpener is safe to use. You’ll just insert the knife in and pull out in a continuous straight motion. The bottle opener, on the other hand, is underneath the model and works quite effectively.
After opening the door, you’ll immediately see the can opener and bag opener. The can opener is easy to use and does not require you to hold the can. After you lift the lever, let the magnet hold the can for you and then hold down the lever until it starts rotating. It will automatically stop after full rotation, which means you don’t have to micromanage the device.
But sadly, the Spacemaker leaves jagged edges on the can. If this is a significant factor for you, you can check out other products in this review that leaves a smoother cut. Overall, with some extra caution, the Spacemaker does the job efficiently. It also automatically shuts off when not in use, so you don’t have to worry about its cutting part moving on its own.
- Can opener, bag cutter, knife sharpener, and bottle opener in one
- Comes with standard screw lengths and stackable spacers
- Modern look
- Auto shut-off
- Stops after full rotation
- Magnet holds the can so you don’t have to
- Only for flat-bottom cabinets
- Mounting is tricky
- Needs space clearance for the swing-open door
- Leaves can with a jagged edge
Black & Decker EC600 Spacemaker – Best Electric Can Opener Under Cabinet
Another under-the-cabinet opener we have is also from the Spacemaker line of Black & Decker called the EC600. We labeled this unit as the “best electric can opener under cabinet” because it is compact and can fit most cabinets easily. And another great news is that it doesn’t break the bank!
Compact and Installs Easily
The Spacemaker EC600 really makes space. It’s only 7-1/4 inches wide, 5 inches high, and 6 inches deep. It also hides its cords in the back for a neat set-up. However, unlike its previous sibling, it doesn’t have a knife sharpener and other inclusions.
If the requests of the Spacemaker earlier makes you worried, you can give the EC600 a chance. At this price point, it comes with one-inch spacers so that you can still mount it on cabinets that don’t have a flat bottom. You can screw the EC600 into place up to one inch above your cabinet’s edge.
Swing Open Door
The EC600 may not look like a mirrored copy of the previous Spacemaker; however, it also has a swing-open door. We have mentioned earlier that this feature would mean another space clearance to consider. But since the EC600 is compact, this wouldn’t be a problem. This retractable door helps protect the control panel of the unit, which in return, can extend its lifespan. And yes, the EC600s controls are hidden behind this door.
The can opener also has a magnet, so you don’t have to hold the can as it rotates. The usage of the model is also safe because of the dedicated “start and release” switch at the right side of the opener. However, releasing the can off the opener can sometimes get tricky. And because of the jagged edges, it can be dangerous.
Blade Release at a Flick
Lastly, another unique thing with the EC600 is the dedicated blade release switch at the left side of the opener. Similar to the start and release switch, all you need to do is flick this button to pop off the opener’s blade. And afterward, you can put this blade on your dishwasher for quick cleaning.
- Fairly affordable
- Compact and clutter-free
- Can install on various cabinets
- Has a swing-open door
- Start and release switch
- Has a blade release switch
- Blade is dishwasher-safe
- The can is tricky to remove
- Leaves a jagged edge
Hamilton Beach 76608 – Best Electric Can Opener for Seniors
Our next product is the 76608 from Hamilton Beach. This tall countertop model is perfect for opening any size and type of can from pop-tops to even dented ones effortlessly. But more than accommodating various cans, this particular model is also our best choice for seniors.
Seniors have slower hand-eye coordination. Combine that with shaky hands and blurred vision, and they are prone to accidents with sharp objects such as can openers. However, using the 76608 from start to finish gives us hope with letting our seniors open the cans themselves.
Ergonomic Push-Down Lever
Up the top of the unit is a wide ergonomic lever. This means it doesn’t require pinpoint precision when pressing it down. The model will show the words “unlocked” or “locked” depending on the position of the lever. If it is upward then it is unlocked. Then you’ll hold the can snugly into cutting position and push the lever downwards until it’s flat to lock it down. If we could improve one thing in this method, it would be an addition of a magnet. We think seniors would prefer not supporting the can similar to the previous models.
After you’ve locked the can into place, you need to put pressure on the top lever while pressing it down to start the rotation. After it finished a complete turn, you can release the pressure to stop the rotation. This is the part where some people get confused. You have to stop the unit from turning and never pull the lever up. Once you’ve finished opening the can, you can lift the lever up to release it.
The Side-Cutting Advantage and Disadvantage
The can may not look like it is opened because of the way the unit cuts. If you’ve visited our buyer’s guide, you’ll see that there are top-cutting and side-cutting openers. The advantage of the latter over the former is it results in a smoother cut. It also means that the food doesn’t contact the blade, so you don’t have to worry about contamination and clean-up. But as we have said earlier, some people might find the rotation confusing with side-cutting openers.
With Bottle Opener and Knife Sharpener
Did you know that the 76608 is also a 3-in-1 device? At first glance, you might not notice the certain crevices in the unit, but at the front side of the appliance is a bottle opener. You can slide this bottle opener in and out of the device for every usage. However, because it isn’t attached to the unit, you have to be careful not to lose it.
Another crevice is at the back of the 76608. This is the model’s knife sharpener and works by sliding the knife in and out of it. For us, it would’ve been better if it is located at the side of the model for easier access instead.
Cord Storage Space
Lastly, this countertop opener features a cord storage space at its back. You can use this so that you can only pull out the length you require and maintain a neat-looking counter.
- Ergonomic push-down lever
- Can accommodate various can conditions and sizes
- Side-cutting means smoother edge and less mess
- With knife sharpener and pull-out bottle opener
- Has a cord storage space
- Some people might not be used with side-cutting
- No magnets for can holding
Proctor Silex Plus 76370P – Best Opener for Big Cans
Tall Yet Lightweight
If you find yourself struggling in finding a model that will effortlessly open taller cans, we found the solution for you. The Proctor Silex Plus 76370P is a 9-inch tall freestanding can opener that will quickly do the cutting for you. You can also move it around anywhere you like since it only weighs 2.2 pounds. And similar to the previous models earlier, it has a cord storage at the back to keep your space looking tidy.
A Drawback in Operation
To use the device, you will raise the lever and attach the can. And to lock the can in place, simply pull down the lever until it starts rotating. This is where it gets tricky as we struggle a bit once the rotation starts. You have to support the can yourself, which means this unit is not for one-handed operation. If the can isn’t leveled on your palm, you’ll have to restart again.
Magnetic Lid Holder
However, after some tries, the operation will be smoother. And even though the 76370P does not hold the can throughout the rotation, it does holds the lid. The model has a magnet for the lid, so after the rotation, what you’ll get is a lid-free can. This means you don’t have to poke into the can to completely rid of the lid. For us, this adds to the overall safety of usage.
Another comfortable experience that you’ll get with the 76370P is the top button for detaching the cutting lever. All you have to do is slide this button to the right and then pull out the cutting lever. After you have detached the lever, you can then release the button. And to snap the cutting lever back in place, simply repeat the process.
Rear Knife Sharpener
Lastly, you’ll notice that the unit also has an indentation at its back. Can you guess what it is for? If you thought that it’s for knife sharpening, then you’re correct. It operates manually similar to the Hamilton Beach 76608. But just like our comment in that model, we prefer if they have placed it at the side of the unit instead.
- Can accommodate taller cans
- Has a cord storage
- Has a magnetic lid holder
- Has a button for releasing the cutting lever
- Has a knife sharpener
- Can needs support during rotation
- The rotation of the can gets tricky
Cuisinart SCO-60 Deluxe – Best Electric Can Opener For Arthritis
Sometimes, even the simplest kitchen task can be impossible for someone with arthritis. Because of the joint pain and stiffness associated with arthritis, people with this condition need their unit to be extra reliable. What we mean by this is that even if the previous models are relatively easy to use, they still require some pressure to work.
Modern and Sleek
Before we go on about the usage of the model we have, let us first take a look at its design. Right off the bat, this is one of our favorite models in this review, aesthetically speaking. Its brushed stainless steel finish makes it very sleek and modern. And it also has a broad base which is excellent, since this is a freestanding model.
However, even if you try looking for fissures, there are no additional features in this can opener. But don’t worry, because we think its ease and straightforward usage makes up for these missing functions.
One-Touch Pressure-Free Operation
The Cuisinart SCO-60 Deluxe is our best pick for someone with arthritis. And the main reason is how it operates. First, all you need to do is line the can onto the cutter as you raise the lever. Once you’ve attached the lid on the magnet you can let go of it and the lever.
The unit will automatically stop after it completely opened the can. And the lever will then flick up. Compared to the previous models where you have to poke inside the can to completely raise the lid, this model eliminates that step.
You’ll fully raise the lever so that it grabs the lid for you as you hold the can. It is also worth noting that we tried not holding the can after it finished a complete rotation. And guess what? It doesn’t drop it off! But of course, once you let the magnet take the lid off completely, you’re going to have to support the can. But still, these effortless steps is something people with weak grip or dexterity will appreciate.
Some Drawbacks in the Results
Overall, the SCO-60 is a can opener without the bells and whistles. It may not have a knife sharpener or bottle opener embedded in its body, but it literally does everything for the user. And to make it more likable, the SCO-60 even has a fully removable arm. This way, you can remove the lid holder and cutting mechanism in one go for clean-up.
- Modern and minimalistic look
- One-touch to start cutting
- No need to support can
- No need to maintain pressure on the lever
- Has a magnetic lid holder
- Removable cutting arm
- Has no other features besides can opening
- Leaves a sharp edge on the lid
- Sometimes shred the can’s label
Hamilton Beach 76606ZA – Best Side-Cutting Electric Can Opener
Yes, you’re not seeing a repeated product. The Hamilton Beach 76606ZA does look very similar, almost a mirror copy with the previous 76608 from the same brand. If you have read our review with that previous model, we recommended it for seniors. However, we think that its sibling right here is the best side-cutting electric can opener.
Let’s make a quick comparison between the two. First, the 76608 comes with a higher price tag and offers additional features. These include a bottle opener and knife sharpener. However, if you need something more affordable and those features are not your priority, then this side-cutting opener is an excellent alternative.
Tall and Opens All Cans
The 76606ZA performs equally as well as its previous sibling. What we mean by this is that it can open cans from tall sizes to even the pop-top variants. But just like the 76608, it’s a pretty tall device measuring at 10.5 inches in height. Perhaps it is this height that aids in opening various can sizes as well. Nonetheless, if you’re particular with keeping your countertop clutter-free, you’d be pleased that it also has a cord storage.
Recyclable Frustration-Free Packaging
Another fantastic thing about the 76606ZA is it comes in a frustration-free packaging. You don’t have to be annoyed with cutting various boxes and bags just to get to your cutter. And best of all, it is environment-friendly because it is recyclable. But then again, this is just a bonus from the fact that this packaging is also affordable.
Now, let’s take a look at its performance. The 76606ZA also sports a large-sized ergonomic lever.
Using this opener is similar to the previous model we reviewed from Hamilton Beach. You’ll line the can to the opener and then hold the lever down. But unlike the Cuisinart SCO-60 Deluxe, you need to press down on the lever throughout the rotation continuously. You’ll also be the one judging when to stop, which can be tricky because it is a side-cutting opener.
Once you’ve released the lever, you’ll lose the handle label saying “locked.” We appreciate these labels because it notifies the user if they have correctly released or attached the can. However, as we have mentioned previously, side-cutting openers can get confusing. After they cut the can, it might look like the lid is still attached, causing some users to overlap the cut.
Smooth Edges and Easy Clean-Up
Nonetheless, the benefits after some practice are worth it. For example, the cut results to a ridge-free finish on both the lid and the can. This means you can just use your finger to take the lid off. And because of the position of the cut, you can place the lid back onto the can for storage. Lastly, because the blade doesn’t reach the food, maintenance with the 76606ZA is as simple as wiping.
Do we find any significant drawbacks with this model? Besides the questionable durability lifespan, there are no replacement parts available with this opener. This means you will have to purchase a new model if a part happens to break. If this is a deal-breaker for you, you can check out other openers such as the Edlund 266 that sells replacement kits for their unit.
- One-hand operation
- Ergonomic labeled lever
- Cord storage
- Can open various can sizes and conditions
- Ridge-free can and lid
- Wipes clean
- Plastic lever’s durability is questionable
- No available replacement parts
Proctor Silex 75217F – Top Pick
Other than the Plus 76370P, we also reviewed the 75217F model from Proctor Silex. And just like the resemblance among the models from Hamilton Beach, these two looks and functions very similarly. This is the final countertop model in our review, and it also happens to be our top pic. Don’t get us wrong, the previous units also excel in their own way, particularly if you have a specific requirement.
Magnetic Lid Holder
Let’s get back to the review. Both the Plus 76370P and 75217F uses the same mechanism for using the opener. After you raise the lever, you will attach the can so that the magnet holds it for you. We are pleased that this model opens a variety of sizes, even as tall as a 7-inch can.
Even though the model holds the can pretty securely, we recommend that you still support the can throughout the rotation. But what’s great with this model is that you don’t have to be the one poking through the can so that the lid will stick out. Because of the magnetic lid holder, you’ll just simply take the can lid-free after a full rotation. It’s also great that the unit will automatically shut off after use for safety.
The Disadvantage with Top-Cutting Openers
However, don’t expect a smooth edge on the lid as you would with a side-cutting opener. There are also certain cans where the opener reaches their labels and result in pieces of shredded paper. Nonetheless, opening a can with this unit is straightforward, and it does the job quickly.
Because it is a top-cutting opener, you can also expect that the cutting piece will sometimes reach the food. Thankfully, removing and re-attaching the model’s cutting lever is effortless and smooth.
Rear Knife Sharpener and Cord Storage
Besides being a can opener, you’d also find a knife sharpener at the back of this device. There’s nothing too fancy about this feature, and it works manually. Again, while a knife sharpener is a nice addition, we prefer it to be located at the side of the unit’s body. We think this placement is more convenient, instead of rotating the device to access the sharpener. And speaking of the opener’s backside, it does have a dedicated compartment for storing its cord.
- Straightforward operation
- Magnetic lid holder
- Cord storage
- Knife sharpener
- Automatically shuts off after usage
- Can sometimes shred the can labels
- Leaves a sharp edge
Kitchen Mama Yes You Can – Best Handheld Electric Can Opener
Our last two models are both handheld devices. As we have said in our buyer’s guide, these battery-operated openers offer you cordless freedom. And for us, this electric can opener from Kitchen Mama is the best handheld electric can opener.
The Yes You Can almost looks like a wireless mouse. And because it is compact and wireless, you can keep it in your drawer as you would with a manual opener. It uses four double A batteries to function, but do note that they do not come with the purchase. We like how easy it is to slide out the top lid for the battery compartment. And attaching it back is also as smoothly.
Now, this is where the Yes You Can beats manual openers. To open a can, simply attach the can on its underside and press the top button. It has a small piece of magnet to lock in the can. What you’re doing is basically putting the can opener on the can’s lid and giving it a go signal to rotate. It doesn’t need any intervention until you touch the button again to stop the device.
However, Kitchen Mama also sells a version of this device that will automatically stop after a full rotation. If you want the full hands-free experience, we recommend that version of this opener. And speaking of other versions, Kitchen Mama even has mini models in case you want something smaller.
As for some drawbacks, although not significant, the device works quite loudly. And we’re not sure if it can accommodate certain conditions and sizes of cans. Nonetheless, the Yes You Can is the embodiment of a handheld electric can opener.
- Side-cutting opener
- Two-tap operation
- Easily accessible battery compartment
- Wireless and compact
- Might not fit with certain can sizes
W-Dragon Electric Can Opener – Best Affordable Alternative
The most affordable and final unit in our review is this handheld electric can opener from W-Dragon. Unlike the previous wireless handheld opener from Kitchen Mama, this device only requires two double A batteries. You can access its battery compartment at its underside as well, instead of being at the front.
This electric can opener is also handheld and wireless. However, we think that the design could be shorter. Since the opening mechanism is in the middle, some people can press down too hard on one side and mess with the device’s stability.
Press Button Once to Stop/Start
Using the W-Dragon is the same as the previous Yes You Can. You’ll attach it on top of the can and press the button to start and stop. There is also a magnet at its underside so that the lid stays attached after the full rotation.
Pressing the button after completing its rotation will also reverse the cutter, making it ready to be used again. However, you have to make sure that the motor completely stops. As well as confirming that the cutter has returned to the start position before lifting the device off the can.
This model is also a side-cutting opener, so you don’t have to worry about sharp ridges. However, this opener may have some difficulty with dented rims, heavy seams, or taller cans. If the rotation gets stuck, you have to press the white button to release the can.
- Wireless and compact
- Touch to start/stop
- Uses only two double A batteries
- Design is not as ergonomic
- Has difficulty in opening certain cans
Best Electric Can Opener Buyer’s Guide
Types of Can Openers
Manual Can Openers
As we have mentioned earlier, manual can openers require more effort and time to use. However, they also have their advantages, including ease of storage, portability, and affordability. While this review is about electric can openers, we want to give you a quick familiarization with some common manual can openers.
- Single-Wheel Can Opener: As the name implies, this device uses a wheel to cut through the can’s rim. But because it has a finer grate than other manuals, it gives you less jagged edges afterward. The single-wheel can opener also has magnets that’ll hold the can as you cut.
- Lever-Type Can Opener: We can call this opener as one of the “oldest” designs. It has a large curved blade with a stopper on the other end to keep it reaching deeper into the can. The overall shape of this opener almost looks like a claw, which is why it’s sometimes called as the claw-shaped opener.
- Key Can Opener: This type of manual opener typically comes with some canned goods. They are basically a single piece of twisted metal that looks like key, and are best used for thin-walled cans.
- Church Key Can Opener: Yes, there is also another key-shaped opener made with a single piece of pressed metal. It has a pointed edge for piercing the can’s lid, and they are mostly used for opening flat-top beer cans.
- Bunker Can Opener: The bunker opener has a key that’ll rotate a serrated wheel, which in turn, cuts through the can. You can operate this device with one hand using its plier-like handles.
- Butterfly Can Opener: We can describe this as the more compact version of the previous bunker opener.
Electric Can Openers
To help you understand the products we reviewed, let us take a look at each type of electric can opener. There are three main kinds of electric can opener, but first, let us compare a top-cutting can opener to a side-cutting can opener.
Top-Cutting vs Side-Cutting
Top-Cutting Can Opener
Example Model in Our Review: Proctor Silex Plus 76370P
The Good: Top-cutting can openers typically are more durable than side-cutting can openers. And because of the way they cut, they are the ideal choice if you want to drain the liquid from the can. Some models even have a magnet that holds the lid from falling inside the can.
The Bad: Their advantage is also somehow their disadvantage. Their cutting edge comes in contact with the food inside the can. This means you have to be extra diligent in washing them after each use. Another con with a top-cutting can opener is if they don’t have a magnet that holds the lid, you’ll have to take the lid off from inside the can.
Side-Cutting Can Opener
Example Model in Our Review: Hamilton Beach 76606ZA
The Good: The most significant advantage of this can opener over its top-cutting counterpart is safety. Because they cut below the rim of the can’s lid, the resulting edge will have a smoother finish. Think of it as splitting where the lid joins the can, therefore, the sharp points will be minimal. You can also reseal the can using its lid for storage.
The Bad: As we have said earlier, top-cutting openers are more durable. The reason for this is because side-cutting openers dull faster. The area below the rim is thicker, which means, you might need to change your can opener more often to keep it functional. And because of the placement of the side-cutting opener on the can, it can be difficult to tell if you have finished cutting all the way around. If you cut more than once, you might end up cutting small metal slivers that can fall inside the can.
Three Main Types of Electric Can Openers
- Handheld Can Opener
If you think of an electric can opener, chances are, the first design that comes to your mind are the handheld models. And because they don’t have any cord, they are as portable as the manual can openers.
They require no effort to use (except for holding them, of course.) All you need to do is place the device on top of the can and push its button. Some models even automatically stop after a full rotation, while some need manual intervention to turn it off. A slight con with this type of electric can opener is that it uses batteries for power.
- Countertop Openers
This type of can opener is what introduces a can opener as a full-blown kitchen appliance in the market. Depending on your model, they even have other functions such as knife sharpening. As the name implies, they sit upright on your countertop as you would with a coffee maker. Models vary from those requiring permanent attachment to a surface and those that you can place anywhere.
However, they do take some space compared to handheld openers. However, there are countertop openers that you can store in your cabinet when you’re not using them. And speaking of usage with countertop openers, you will place the can under the model’s blade and then use the top lever to press the blade downwards into the can.
- Under-the-Cabinet Openers
If you think constantly finding and hiding your can opener is a drag, under-the-cabinet openers are for you. They also solve the space-hogging issue with the previous countertop openers. You mount this device underneath your kitchen cabinet permanently so you can access them quickly. But a drawback for under-the-cabinet openers is that you might not be able to open certain taller cans because you’ll be limited with the height clearance.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Can Opener
We include the model’s ease of use and intended operation under this factor. If it is a handheld opener, it should feel ergonomic and not flimsy. On the other hand, if it is a countertop opener, its grip on the can should be secured. And for both types of openers, always be on the lookout for models that tip over from the weight of the can.
However, for the device to be fully comfortable and easy to use, you should also consider where you’re using it for.
- For outdoor activities: opt for a lightweight and compact opener
- For commercial use: opt for a heavy-duty can opener (i.e., it can handle large volumes of cans)
- For home: opt for a device that can open cans of various sizes
- For busy kitchens: opt for a device that you can use with just one hand or those that doesn’t require manual intervention.
Another consideration are the people that’s going to use it.
- Usable by both left-handed and/or right-handed people
- Usable by older/younger children
- Usable by patients with dexterity problems
- Usable by people with weak hands
- Usable by patients with arthritis
Under this factor are the opener’s blade and motor. What you’d want, especially for the cutting piece, is for it to be made from stainless steel. This material would resist rust, which is dangerous when it comes to contact with food. You should also opt for an opener that wouldn’t dull quickly. This factor is why it is important to give thought to how much cans you’ll be opening in a day.
Cleaning and Maintenance
As you have read on the comparison of top-cutting and side-cutting can opener, the former type would come in contact with the can’s contents. This means you have to be extra careful in cleaning your unit to avoid rusting or cross-contamination.
And to make your life easier, make sure to check that you can unattach the cutting part of the opener for clean-up. There are pieces that are also dishwasher-safe to save time and effort. However, it can be tricky to take the blades off certain models, so this is also something to think about.
Generally speaking, electric can openers leave smooth edges on an opened can. But side-cutting can openers can take it up a notch because of the area where they cut. Another excellent safety factor is when the model can hold the lid for you. This way, you can safely take it off the can.
Plug-in or Batteries
As we have mentioned in different kinds of can openers, battery-operated models offer portability. Not to mention, they wouldn’t take a large amount of space in the kitchen. You can also virtually use them anywhere because they don’t require an outlet close by to operate. However, some people don’t like the idea of constantly replacing batteries.
Like the Black & Decker Spacemaker Can Opener, some models even have additional features. The most common one is knife sharpening, but there are also other additions such as bottle opening and plastic bag cutting in certain units.
Electric can openers eliminate the need for effort when it comes to opening cans. They also widen the choices for those suffering from health conditions to do simple kitchen tasks. Our top pick is the Proctor Silex 75217F. It is a reasonably affordable device that is also straightforward to use.
Don’t want a top-cutting opener? Our review also has a selection of side-cutting openers ranging from countertops to handhelds. We also have units like the Cuisinart SCO-60 Deluxe that requires not much physical intervention during operation.
If you need more information about these devices, you can revisit our buyer’s guide to differentiate each type. We hope that the factors that we laid out have also given you an idea of what to look for in a unit.
But if you still got questions, feel free to leave them below!